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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
Volker Perthes, the U.N. special envoy to Sudan, announced he was stepping down yesterday and warned that “What started as a conflict between two military formations could be morphing into a full-blown civil war.” Speaking about the conflict, Perthes said, “Often indiscriminate aerial bombing is conducted by those who have an airforce, which is the SAF. Most of the sexual violence, lootings and killings happen in areas controlled by the RSF and are conducted or tolerated by the RSF and their allies.” Michelle Nichols reports for Reuters.
Libya’s two rival governments are coordinating relief efforts for flood victims, as each requested international aid, the U.N. has said. The death toll could rise to as many as 20,000, based on the extent of the destruction in the flooded city of Derna, its mayor Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi said. Aoife Walsh reports for BBC News.
The United States, U.K., Germany, and France told the International Atomic Energy Agency today that further action would be needed on Iran if it did not fulfill legal obligations and clarify issues over nuclear material. “Iran needs to provide, without further delay, technically credible information on the current location(s) of nuclear material and contaminated equipment in relation to Turquzabad and Varamin,” the four countries said in a statement. Reuters reports.
Zhao Sheng, China’s new ambassador to Afghanistan, was welcomed by the Taliban in Kabul yesterday. China, Pakistan, Iran, and Russia have maintained diplomatic ties with Afghanistan after the Taliban retook control in 2021. China and Afghanistan have been forging close economic relations. Alex Stambaugh and Helen Regan report for CNN.
China has denied it banned officials from using iPhones but noted recent “security incidents” involving the devices. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said, “China has not issued any legislation, regulations or policy documents prohibiting the purchase and use of Apple’s foreign-brand phones. However, we have indeed noticed many recent media reports exposing security incidents related to Apple phones.” Christian Shepherd reports for the Washington Post.
China yesterday upgraded relations with Venezuela to an “all-weather strategic partnership.” China and Venezuela also reached bilateral cooperation agreements for the economy, trade, tourism, science and technology, civil aviation, and aerospace. Venezuela owes China over $10 billion. Reuters reports.
Earth is exceeding its “safe operating space for humanity” in most key measurements, a group of international scientists said in the Science Advances journal yesterday. Earth’s climate, biodiversity, land, freshwater, nutrient pollution, and “novel” chemicals exceed safe levels. Ocean acidity, the health of the air, and the ozone layer are within the boundaries considered safe. However, of those three, both ocean and air pollution are getting worse. Seth Borenstein reports for AP News.
Romanians living close to Ukraine were urged to shelter as Russia struck Ukrainian ports across the Danube yesterday. The alert came after the defense ministry found Russian drone parts on Romanian territory for the third time in a week. Romania has reassured residents in the area that the risk of a cross-border escalation was minimal. Michael Ertl reports for BBC News.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reaffirmed his support for Russia in his continuing visit, praising Russia’s “sacred struggle to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Pyongyang next month, while Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted Kim’s invitation to visit North Korea “in the future.” Bryan Pietsch reports for the Washington Post.
The United States and Europe have been unable to garner support for Ukraine among developing nations, including India, Brazil, and South Africa, which remain neutral on the war. This has not directly benefited Russia, as it continues to be marginalized from many international forums. While Western diplomats had previously made some gains, the international willingness to call out Russia publicly has diminished in recent months. Laurence Norman reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, yesterday called for a significant expansion of the bloc to include Ukraine. E.U.’s top official also envisioned Moldova, several Western Balkan nations, and Georgia entering the E.U. over the next few years. In December, the E.U. will decide whether to allow Ukraine to begin accession negotiations. This would require the unanimous backing of all 27 member states. Matina Stevis-Gridneff reports for the New York Times.
New information reveals that a Russian pilot tried to shoot down a U.K. RAF surveillance plane after believing he had permission to fire, contradicting Russia’s previous explanation that the incident last September was caused by a “technical malfunction.” While the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence publicly accepted the Russian explanation, senior Western defense sources have revealed that the pilot fired on the surveillance plane due to an ambiguous command from a Russian ground station. A U.K. Ministry of Defence spokesperson said, “Our intent has always been to protect the safety of our operations, avoid unnecessary escalation, and inform the public and international community.” Jonathan Beale reports for BBC News.
The United States may access more military bases in the Philippines under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the chief of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said today. Karen Lema and Mikhail Flores report for Reuters.
The United States and Bahrain yesterday signed a strategic security and economic agreement to expand defense and intelligence collaboration. Humeyra Pamuk and Steve Holland report for Reuters.
The United States has resumed aerial counterterrorism missions in Niger after being suspended following July’s military coup, General James Hecker, the top U.S. Air Force commander for Europe and Africa, said yesterday. The operations are only intended to protect U.S. troops. The United States has “not restarted security force assistance training or counterterrorism cooperation with Niger,” a Pentagon spokesperson clarified. Michael R. Gordon reports for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
District Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing former President Trump’s classified document case, issued a protective order setting out rules about how classified information and documents should be handled. Under the order, Trump is unlikely to be able to discuss classified evidence at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Devlin Barrett reports for the Washington Post.
Former President Trump has embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments that Trump faces political persecution to strengthen his claim that prosecutors in the United States are mistreating him. Amy B Wang reports for the Washington Post.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Hunter Biden’s lawyers yesterday filed a lawsuit against Garrett Ziegler, an aide in the Trump White House, over his alleged role in publishing embarrassing emails and images from Biden’s laptop. The lawsuit accuses Ziegler of “accessing, tampering with, manipulating, altering, copying and damaging computer data that they do not own.” Kanishka Singh reports for Reuters.
District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants, is illegal. DACA will remain effective while the decision is appealed. Existing beneficiaries can renew their participation in the program. Michelle Hackman reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Danelo Cavalcante, who escaped jail on Aug. 31, has been apprehended after a dog located him as he tried to evade the police. Campbell Robertson reports for the New York Times.
A federal appeals court has sided with Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) in denying special counsel Jack Smith access to Perry’s communications after his phone was seized by FBI investigators working on the Jan. 6 investigation. The court held some of Perry’s conversations are covered by the Speech and Debate Clause. Rebecca Beitsch reports for the Hill.
The conviction of Peter Navarro for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee could be unraveled by jury members’ outdoor break where they were exposed to protestors. District Court Judge Amit Mehta held a hearing yesterday to take testimony from the federal courthouse employee who escorted the jury outside for a break. Mehta must determine whether the jurors saw any protesters and whether this could have meaningfully influenced their decision. Kyle Cheney reports for POLITICO.